The Mysteries of Gnosis vs. the Revelations of the Gospel
Whoever heard of a “gnosis” anyway? I heard you wonder that. Well, it’s like this. Everyone in the Roman province of Asia heard of gnosis, as well as all of the “mystery religions” which abounded there in New Testament times.
There we go again. Now you are wondering what a mystery religion is. Yes, you are. I heard you with my own two ears. My my, but you sure are full of questions today, aren’t you? But that’s a good thing! Inquisitive minds want to know. That’s how we learn, after all.
Okay. I’ll tell you what gnosis and mystery religions are. Just come inside, take your shoes off, and relax a spell. We are about to teach you all about it in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. It is titled:
Ephesians: Volume 15 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! [1 Corinthians 10:11-12]
Let’s continue with our study from yesterday. A dear woman and her husband in one of my churches fell under the spell of the Seventh Day Adventists, a cult. This group is entangled in obeying the Law in order to be a Christian. They go so far as to insist that Saturday is the only true day to hold church services and reject Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Hence their name.
Before leaving one of the churches I pastored, this elderly lady commenced to quarreling with me during Bible study about Christians no longer being under the Law. She wanted to win converts to her brand of legalism, you see, and take them with her to the Adventist Church. She challenged, “Well, if we are no longer under the Law, why do we still bother to study it? Why not remove it from our Bibles and just study the New Testament?”
She felt pretty good about herself, and it showed all over her face. To her she was the man and I was confronted with irrefutable argumentation. In actuality her argument was mere sophistry. It had the appearance of logic and validity, but it was specious reasoning par excellence.
If she knew her Bible as well as she thought she did, she would have known that the Apostle Paul fought ferociously against the Judaizers. The Judaizers were Pharisees, Jewish legalists, who supposedly converted to Christ. However, they insisted on attaching the Law to belief in Jesus. It was necessary to believe in Jesus, yes, but it was also necessary to continue to obey the Law.
Paul rebuked them scathingly, declaring, “We are no longer under Law but under grace!” This same Paul, notwithstanding, still taught the Old Testament to those who converted to Jesus. The tenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is one such example. The Bible text we quoted to commence this study is Paul’s conclusion to his Old Testament teaching.
In the first ten verses of 1 Corinthians 10, Paul reiterated multiple situations which occurred with the Israelites in the wilderness under Moses’ leadership. Then Paul penned the words quoted at the start of this lesson. Those words tell us why we still study the Old Testament, even though we are no longer under the Law.
God preserved His Word, including all of the Old Testament, to furnish us with examples. These examples serve as a good source of instruction. We are to learn from the past history of God’s people how NOT to serve the Lord, as well as HOW to serve the Lord. If we learn from Israel’s mistakes, we will be better able to avoid them ourselves.
Think about it, dear friends. I am not obligated to obey the legal code of the Roman Empire, but I still studied Roman history and in the process gleaned a good deal of learning which has relevance today.
We don’t study the Old Testament because we are under the Law. We study it because the Lord used visible physical realities to teach us invisible spiritual truths. I want to know all of these truths. I don’t want to miss any of them. That’s why I study the Old Testament.
Another reason is that I love the Lord and love to learn how He has related to man through the centuries and millennia. The Bible is the only source for learning this. And the Bible is the only book which contains no errors or lies.
So let’s not attempt to obey the Law in order to be saved or to stay saved. But let’s study the Law to know the Lord all the better. This is an excellent time for us to grab our Bibles and go be with Jesus. He loves to teach us His Word, if only we want to learn it and obey it.
To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Deuteronomy: Volume 5 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to: